Continuous Glucose Monitor
Adding a continuous glucose monitor can make a big diabetes difference.
By Deanna Glick
Editor's Note: While this columnist is no longer writing for dLife.com and we have ceased to update the information contained herein, there is much to be read here that is still applicable to the lives of people with diabetes. If you wish to act on anything you learn here, be sure to consult your doctor first. Please enjoy the column!
August 2009 — There are those life-changing events and milestones many people might relate to. Graduating from college. Launching a career. Getting married. Buying a house. Giving birth. Moving many miles away.
And then there are those that are quite unique, that only select folks can understand. Being diagnosed with a chronic illness the day after your 21st birthday. Your first shot of Glucagon from an attractive EMT at your bedside. Getting your first insulin pump delivered by the Man in Brown on Christmas Eve during a family celebration at your apartment.
Two weeks ago, another one happened. My Dexcom continous glucose monitor (CGM) was delivered. I remember thinking at some point after I got my first insulin pump that the only thing that could change my diabetes life more would be a cure. I was wrong.
When I got my insulin pump, I immediately began training for a marathon. It was a bit unconventional. Typically, new pump users gradually work up to a normal exercise routine while learning the details of this very detail-oriented therapy. I had not skipped a meal in over a decade. I hadn't eaten more than 45 grams of carbohydrate at one time over the same period. My life was rigid. And, I must admit, I was good at it. The pump brought the luxury of flexibility to my life. More desserts, more exercise without feeding insulin, more skipped and delayed meals, more meals with only trace carbohydrates like those big luscious salads you eat for lunch at fancy restaurants. Soon, I couldn't remember life without my pump, much like I couldn't remember life before diabetes.
And now, my pump has been overshadowed. My continuous glucose monitor has brought about the most welcome and profound change in my life since my daughter was born three years ago. Here's the deal. It's all relative. There was, quite simply, more in my life that could be changed when my CGM arrived. I have more responsibility now. I juggle more things in less time. I have heavier burdens to bear. The kind that makes stopping to prick your finger just one more thing that tends to fall to the bottom of the priority list when it once held the top spot.
In the past two weeks, I've enjoyed a peace of mind I never thought possible as a mother struggling to attain optimum diabetes management. As I mingled amid a room full of preschoolers dressed up in costume, I heard my continuous glucose monitor alarm to alert me to a blood sugar of 70 rather than needing to pull out the finger-pricker and hope none of the kids saw me. I've enjoyed spinning and kickboxing classes without raiding my child's entire snack supply afterward because it was so easy to monitor my blood sugars before and during exercise. I've made key adjustments to my basal rates as a result of marked patterns. And, perhaps most importantly, all of this has added up to a mommy who's in a much better mood much more of the time.
Now, I just have to figure out where I'm going to scrape up the cash for the co-pay of several hundred dollars. I can't think of anything more worth it.
dLife's Viewpoints columnists are not all medical experts, but everyday people living with diabetes and sharing their personal experiences, most often at a set point in time. While their method of diabetes management may work for them, everyone is different. Please consult with your diabetes care team before acting on anything you read here to find out what will work best for you.
Surveys Find Adults with Type 2 Diabetes Are More Willing to Take Action to Achieve A1C Targets Quicker than Physicians and Other Medical Professionals Perceive
FDA Votes to Change Jardiance Label to Show Reduction in Heart-Related Deaths
Low Carb vs. High Carb II – My Diabetes Diet Battle Continued
Parmesan Fries Hot Pepper and Lemon Sauce Sesame Spinach and Mushroom Salad Black Bean Cakes Sausage Strata with Green Onions Sage and Garlic Pork Stew Chip Dip Minted Pesto Fruity Bran Bread Pork, Pineapples, and Peppers
Years before I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, The Other Half came out of a doctor's appointment with a diagnosis of "borderline diabetes" and an ADA exchange diet sheet. His health insurance agency followed up on the diagnosis with a glucometer and test strips. After a year or so of trying to follow the diet plan and test his glucose levels, things appeared to be back in "normal" range, and stood there until a couple of years after my own diagnosis. Shortly...